releases book on living Catholic faith 'Living the Catholic Faith'
fresh, accessible guide to living Faith in 21st century
those seeking guidance on how to live a Catholic Christian life
in the 21st century, Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., has
released a lively, practical "handbook" of sorts.
the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics," is the archbishop's
first book. It's based on the popular lecture series the archbishop
gave during the Jubilee Year. Topics covered include the Catholic
understanding of revelation which addresses Scripture and
Church tradition the Sacraments, and the Church and social
lecture series for the Jubilee Year was really a kind of reflection
on the basic elements of what it means to be a Catholic, [presented]
in a non-structured way," Archbishop Chaput said, adding that
the book is not meant to be "a textbook."
just sometimes random thoughts around a certain issue," he
said. "I try to be very practical and concrete and apply what
the faith of the Church would mean practically in our day-to-day
Those who attended
the lectures will recognize much of the content, but the book includes
additional material, as well. The archbishop rewrote his pastoral
letter on family life that addresses natural family planning for
inclusion in the book because "it's such an important issue,"
he said. He also included a chapter on the Eucharist that is based
on a lecture he gave during a liturgy congress.
you write, you're picking something you're familiar with or something
you think is important," the archbishop said. "I hope
that matches the objective reality and interest of those who read
asked by the publisher to consider writing a book, the archbishop
declined. The publisher then suggested that "a relatively painless
way" to write the book would be to hold a lecture series and
use the talks as the chapters, the archbishop said, adding that
the idea of holding the lectures appealed to him.
the first book I've written and probably the last book I've written,"
he added. "I'm busy being a bishop. If it weren't for the fact
that I was trying to imitate the Holy Father's zeal about evangelizing
during the Jubilee Year, I don't know that I would have written
An avid reader,
the archbishop said he is "astonished that people think I have
something significant enough to put into a book."
Those who received
advance copies of the book disagree.
Marie Lustiger, archbishop of Paris, described the book as "an
appealing little introduction to the Catholic faith."
George, O.M.I., archbishop of Chicago, described it "the answer"
for those "searching for the best way to live their faith amidst
Chaput describes it as "random thoughts of a 20th century preacher."
of the book quickly sold out at a local Catholic goods store.
bookstore only had 15 copies, so I don't think that's called selling
very well," the archbishop said with a laugh. "I had 20
copies, but they're all gone. I sent them to my family, relatives
and friends. So, there's at least 35 copies in circulation."
credits his staff, in particular Kerry Kober, his correspondence
secretary, and Fran Maier, chancellor, for the support they gave
him during the writing of the book.
were my closest collaborators," he said. "I'm grateful
to them and very proud of their association."
What is the
message the archbishop hopes readers gain from the book?
the Catholic, the Christian, message is compelling - absolutely
compelling," he said. "I hope I've contributed toward
making it compelling for those who might not really understand it
and might, through the book, look at it in a new and fresh kind
adults, high school students could benefit from it, too, as its
style, which echoes the archbishop's homilies and lectures, is easily
accessible. "There is a verse from St. Paul's letter to the
Philippians, that says that we pursue `the prize of God's upward
calling in Christ Jesus,'" the archbishop said. "Really,
that's what happens. To be a Christian is something that leads to
new life, to joy, to creativity, to energy, to service of others.
It's compelling because it's the truth. "To be what we're called
to be in Christ, if you see what that means, you know it's right,"
he continued. "You know it's true, because it fits human nature
and all of our desires and longings better than anything else. It
answers all the facts that we have to deal with in our life in a
clear, consistent, cogent, way." Living as a Christian "requires
daily conversion, discipleship, and transformation," the archbishop
writes in his book. "Becoming a Christian and living in Christ
imply a lifetime of growing in Christ." Thankfully, the archbishop
has penned an inspiring, contemporary guide to help the faithful
do that in the third millennium.
from "Living the Catholic Faith" will go to charity. List
price is $10.99. Published by Servant Publications, it is available
at local Catholic goods stores and online through www.Amazon.com.